Nevada Ed-Watch: 1/27/23

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? Considered one of Nevada’s school districts, the SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools. The Authority consists of seven appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students. 

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? The SPCSA typically meets once a month, generally on Fridays. 

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? While all meetings of the SPCSA are typically held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom), all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the public may view the meeting online via the link on the SPCSA’s Public Notice web page and the agenda and any supporting materials can be found here. Public comment may be given on any agenda item at the beginning of the meeting, or public comment regarding any matter that is SPCSA-related may be given at the conclusion of each Board meeting. Members of the community giving public comment can utilize the following conference call line: 1-312-584-2401; extension 3952176# with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing to publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.
Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, January 27, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public Comment #1 

Public comment was heard on:

  • National School Choice Week and the Las Vegas School Choice Fair (over 16,000 attendees, 85 schools/campus)

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

  • Legislative Session Preview:
    • SPCSA will provide an “SPCSA 101” presentation to the Assembly and Senate Education Committees and a budget presentation to the Subcommittee on K-12 Education. Dates are not yet finalized.
    • SPCSA will share a recap of education and charter school related bills that have passed at the June or July 2023 board meeting.
    • The SPCSA Legislative Session memo includes a list of bills that the SPCSA is currently tracking. View the memo here.
  • Executive Order 2023-003:
    • On Jan 12, 2023, Governor Lombardo issued  Executive Directive 2023-003 which requires agencies to review regulations subject to that agency’s enforcement power and identify regulations that can be improved, streamlined, clarified, and eliminated. The report is due to the Governor’s office on May 1, 2023 and must include a list of 10 regulations that the agency recommends eliminating.
    • SPCSA is going through admin code 388A and will revisit this item at the March 2023 board meeting.
  • New Charter School Applicant Training and Guidance:
    • SPCSA worked to review and update the new charter school application ahead of the April 2023 application deadline. Staff also updated the  application guidance document with more details. 
    • SPCSA has held three unique training sessions: 1) overview of application/how the process works, application types 2) info to include in cover sheet/meeting the need, and 3) academic section of application. Recordings are available on the SPCSA website. 
    • Two training sessions will take place in February that will focus on the financial planning/budgeting and operations/addendum sections of the application.Trainings are live-streamed for virtual access. Letters of Intent are due January 30, 2023.
  • SPCSA Monitoring of Special Education Enrollment Practices:
    • Beginning next week, SPCSA staff will make random, unannounced calls to SPCSA-sponsored schools, roleplaying as a parent of a child with a disability seeking information on admission and enrollment. Staff will use a script and document school responses. The purpose of this process is to determine whether a barrier to entry exists (such as a family being denied or discouraged to apply on behalf of the student) and to ensure compliance with NRS 388A453. Schools will receive notice if no barriers are found. If barriers are found, the school will be notified and the SCPSA will conduct a second random call. The SPCSA will offer technical assistance to support schools in remediating barriers to entry. Schools have been notified of this process. 

New Schools Update

  • Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada:
    • Eagle Charter School will open as a K-5, growing to K-8. Year One planned enrollment is 540. The location will be 2025 E. Sahara Ave in Las Vegas. 
    • The school shared updates on pre-opening activities, student recruitment/enrollment, hiring, facility oversight, and charter application conditions. Explore the update.
  • Rooted School – Clark County:
    • Rooted School will open this fall with Grades 9 & 10. Year 1 planned enrollment is 180. The school has a space at Nevada Prep Charter School.
    • The school shared updates on the facilities, charter application conditions, branding and marketing, student recruitment, and staffing. Explore the update.
  • Southern Nevada Trades High School:
    • The school will open with grades 9 and 10. Planned Year One enrollment is 200 students. The school is planning its location at 1580 Bledsoe Lane in Las Vegas, and shared updates on school building construction, hiring, and community outreach efforts. Explore the update.
  • Pinecrest Academy – Springs Campus:
    • The school has submitted an amendment requesting a good cause exemption to adjust school location, enrollment cap, and grade levels served. The original campus was to open in 89107 but the school was unable to secure a lease. The temporary campus will be located at 6151 W Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas for at least the first two years. Explore the update and the recommendation memo.
    • Board approved a motion to grant the good cause exemption request and conditionally approved Pinecrest’s request to occupy a temporary facility at 6151 W. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, 89146, through the 2024-25 SY.

Board Heard an Update from Mater Academy of Northern Nevada

The Board received a presentation from Mater Academy of Northern Nevada about their work toward ensuring student success. Mater is a K-8 school with 311 elementary school students and 182 middle students serving a diverse student population that includes 100% FRL, 38% multi-language learners, and 15% IEP. The school saw significant growth in NSPF index scores for the 2021-22 school year, attributing that growth to their focus on a “family-like” school culture, dedicated staff, high rigor and grade level expectations, instructional assistants that are trained like teachers, working with an instructional data coach, formative and summative assessments, and strong focus on social-emotional learning and supports, PBIS, and restorative justice. 

Explore the presentation.

Board Discussed the SPCSA Annual Review and Overview of SPCSA-Sponsored Public Charter Schools

There are 78 campuses currently served by the SPCSA, 85% of which are in Clark County. The current student count is just under 60,000 students, or about 12% of public school students statewide. The SPCSA goals and their respective progress include:

  • Provide families with access to high quality schools: 80% of SPCSA schools are earning an index score of 50+, and 55% are projected to be 4- and 5-star schools; SPCSA graduation rates are 86%.
    • Opportunities include continuing to close achievement gaps among students.
  • Ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds – including those from historically underserved student groups: All SPCSA student groups outperformed their state peers in 3rd-8th grade, and most outperformed their state peers in 11th grade math and ELA. Most SPCSA student groups’ graduation rates exceeded the respective statewide student group.
  • Increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools: Demographics show steady progress towards alignment with the state, including students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and English learners.

Explore the State of the SPCSA presentation and the organization’s strategic plan progress report.

Board Approved the Annual Report to the Nevada Department of Education

The board presented its annual report to the Nevada Department of Education, as required by NRS 388A.351. The report contains information on student and school performance, progress made on SPCSA’s strategic plan, performance framework results, and status of current schools, as well as schools scheduled to open.

Explore the report.

Board Approved the Updates to the COVID-19 Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

Updates to the plan include:

  • Providing access to COVID-19 testing resources for interested schools, beginning in the 2021-22 school year
  • Additional academic monitoring or oversight in 13 school campuses
  • Updating enrollment

Explore the Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction.

Board Approved Participation in the National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ Leadership in Action Cohort

The Board approved the Executive Director’s and/or her designee’s participation in the National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ Leadership in Action cohort. There is no cost for participation, but the agency would be responsible for travel costs.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Financial Performance Framework results
  • Legislative session updates
  • Revolving loan application recommendations
  • New schools update

Explore the calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, March 3, 2023, @ 9:00 a.m. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 1/31/20

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards, and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, January 31, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • Seven schools submitted applications for authorization in the 2019 Summer cycle. Two schools were approved. Five schools were denied, but resubmitted their applications. 
  • One school submitted an application for authorization in the 2020 Winter cycle. 
  • The SPCSA Executive Director presented to the Legislative Committee on Education about the SPCSA’s Needs Assessment, Growth Management Plan, and Strategic Plan. The committee will provide written feedback to the SPCSA regarding the plans.
  • The SPCSA is launching a “secret shopper” style project to enhance oversight of special education compliance through random, unannounced phone calls to schools. Callers will represent themselves as parents of students with disabilities. 

Board Approved the Annual Report for the Nevada Department of Education

The annual SPCSA report, required by statute, includes updates on the academic performance data for each SPCSA-sponsored school, organizational and financial performance frameworks, and federal funds disbursed to SPCSA-sponsored schools. 

Click here to see the annual report. 

Board Approved the Authorization of Girls Athletic Leadership School (G.A.L.S) 

The board approved staff recommendations to authorize G.A.L.S with conditions. The G.A.L.S application returned to the SPCSA board through an appeal process outlined in the document linked below. G.A.L.S will serve 6th grade students for the 2020-2021 school year, and grow into a full 6-8th grade school by the 2022-2023 school year.  

Click here to see the staff recommendation and conditions. 

Board Approved Four (4) Charter School Renewals

The board approved the renewal of the 4 schools listed below. Click each school name to see the recommendation memo provided by SPCSA staff.

Board Heard an Update on Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada 

SPCSA staff members have been working closely with the Pinecrest team on efforts to serve a student population that is reflective of the community. SPCSA staff and members of the Pinecrest team shared updates on establishing a weighted lottery, securing a free lunch program, and launching targeted marketing and outreach for student enrollment. The school team is also working out the details related to transportation. It was noted that family enrollment can be determined by access to transportation. 

Board Heard a Presentation Overview of SPCSA-Sponsored Charter Schools

SPCSA staff presented an overview of SPCSA-sponsored public charter schools. The presentation included a summary of Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) results, graduation rates, and demographic information as compared to statewide and school district data.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

Schools that received a Notice of Breach will present updates to the board during the March meeting. Performance data for Beacon Academy under the Alternative Performance Framework will also be available in March.

Board Approved Staff Recommendation to Deny Renewal of Nevada Connections Academy Middle and High School Charter Contract (4-1) 

Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) is an online school currently serving students in grades K-12. When assessing NCA’s application for renewal, SPCSA staff considered the academic, organizational and financial performance of the school– putting the largest weight on the academic performance, as required in statute. In the past three years, the elementary and high school programs have not received a rating above 1-star. While the middle school earned an adequate 3-star rating for the 2016 -17 school year, the two most recent ratings are below 3-stars.  

NCA staff provided testimony that outlined why they believe the school should not close. Highlights included: 

  • 2017 Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) ratings and subsequent years’ ratings are not comparable due to changes in measures
  • Students that attend NCA are highly mobile or transient, which the school is working to address 
  • Students that attend NCA enroll in the school with credit deficiencies
  • The school is actively working to address student social-emotional learning
  • The school has outlined intervention plans for middle and high school deficiencies 

After extensive presentations from SPCSA staff, Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) staff, and public comment from families– the board voted to deny the renewal of Nevada Connections Academy’s charter contract for their middle and high schools. NCA did not seek renewal for their elementary school, which will close at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Click here to see the SPCSA memo regarding NCA’s renewal. 

Click here to download Nevada Connections Academy’s presentation. 


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Nevada Ed-Watch 10/11/18

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Included below are recaps from both the State Board of Education and the Clark County School District Board of Trustees meetings on 10/11/18.


Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are in turn passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2018 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings?  A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thurs, October 11, 2018
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Fingerprinting & Background Checks for School Volunteers & Visitors

“Regular volunteers” who are either unsupervised or come in contact with students are required complete fingerprinting and a background check. State Board Members have adopted a regulation that now defines a “regular volunteer” as someone who volunteers at least four times in one month, or once per week for four or more consecutive weeks.

There are exceptions for students in higher education who are at the school as part of a class, and for those who have already been background checked through another public entity.

Click here to see the full background check regulations doc.

Art Courses

The Board approved new regulations for student performance standards in art courses like dance, music, and visual arts. The standards shift from mastering skills in the specific art to higher level tasks, such as relating art to personal life experiences.

Click here to see the full art course regulations doc.

Alternate Diploma Criteria

The Board approved a new diploma type. This diploma aligns to standards for all students, but is differentiated for the learning needs of students who have significant cognitive disabilities. The Alternative Diploma replaces the former certificate of attendance.  

Click here for details and alternative diploma requirements.

Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF)

The Board approved simple language updates to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework.

Click here to see the updated NEPF language.

Science Cut Scores

New cut scores were approved for the Nevada Alternative Assessment in Science. Cut scores are ranges of points earned on a test that are used to determine whether a student is on grade level in the subject area.

The approved cut score are as follows:  

Nevada Achievement School District (NV ASD) Updates

An update was provided on charter schools authorized (or “sponsored”) by the NV ASD. Part of the presentation included an overview of the fastest improving Rising Star schools (schools that are struggling to meet expectations for student achievement and school performance). See data snapshot below.

Click here to see the full definition of a Rising Star school.

Parent Petitions (a process for parents to advocate for changes at their school to improve student outcomes) are due by November 15th, and will be reported to the State Board by November 30th.

Click here to see the full Achievement School District presentation.

Class Sizes

The Board approved a quarterly report on variances for class-sizes. This report includes information on elementary schools that received variances, meaning they were not able to meet the required teacher-to-student ratio (due to funding limitations, difficulty hiring teachers, facility limitations, or other justification).

Click here to see the quarterly class size variance report.


What’s Next? Potential Future Items (Nevada Department of Education):

  • Developing a feedback process to capture input from school districts on the Nevada School Performance Framework (the rating system the state uses to assess school performance annually). The feedback process will help the state make strategic decisions about adjustments that need to be made to the performance framework.
  • Discussion about teacher absenteeism.

Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees.

Click here to Find your Trustee District.

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas.

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thurs, October 11, 2018
Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Field Trip: Discovery Children’s Museum

The district secured a field trip partnership with Discovery Children’s Museum for 21,000 third graders in Title 1 schools.

Resolution to support Fund Our Future Nevada

The parent group HOPE for Nevada and Education Nevada Now led a presentation about the purpose of Fund Our Future Nevada, a statewide coalition that is advocating to change the way Nevada funds public education for all students. The board passed a resolution to join the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition.

Click here to see the resolution

Click here to learn more about Fund Our Future Nevada

Performance Evaluation and Compensation Plan for Executive Cabinet

Trustees did not to take action on a resolution that outlines performance evaluations and compensation plans for the Superintendent’s executive cabinet. The proposed plan would only go into effect after all employee bargaining units have settled agreements and the full budget of the district has been realized.

Annual Report of Charter School Performance

A resolution was passed to accept the Annual Report of Charter School Performance on the charter schools that CCSD authorizes. Trustees discussed the importance of accountability across all CCSD schools, whether charter or traditional zoned neighborhood school.

Trustees also discussed options for moving forward regarding underperforming CCSD Charter schools. CCSD can do the following:

1) Terminate the schools’ charters

2) Put the schools in receivership

3) Reauthorize the schools under the state

4) Require the schools to develop remediation plans.

A recommendation on the final decision will be brought to the Trustees by the Superintendent at the October 18th Trustees meeting. 

Click here to read about this in the Nevada Independent.


Potential Future Items (CCSD Board of Trustees):

  • Presentation on the development of sex-ed curriculum
  • Follow up report on a pilot energy saving program
  • Review of utilization of school facility policy by community partners
  • Review challenges with guest teachers, including shortage of guest teachers and pay
  • Discuss custodian vacancies
  • Review information regarding the bus driver shortage
  • Policy regarding changing a school’s name
  • Review impact of charter schools on nearby traditional neighborhood district schools
  • Assess the costs of Communities in Schools

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